CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) on Monday, October 18, started its vaccination drive for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Cebu City Jail.
Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, chief of CCHD, said the city has been planning to vaccinate the inmates and that the inoculation to finally roll out is a welcome development.
First to receive COVID-19 vaccine are the PDLs at male dormitory, which houses at 6,000 inmates.
The City Jail’s female dormitory has less than a thousand PDLs.
PDLs who are already senior citizens and those with comorbidities will be prioritized, Ibones said.
The CCHD is looking to finish the vaccination within a week. The CCHD will be administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to attract more vaccinees.
Ibones clarified that the city intends to vaccinate all PDLs but the decision to take the vaccine is voluntary.
“We have been planning this but there was a time when our vaccine supply was still unstable. We have been communicating with the City Jail because it will be very difficult if one inmate gets infected. With this vaccination, hopefully visitation will be allowed again because it is disheartening for the inmates not to be visited by their loved ones,” Ibones said.
City Councilor Dave Tumulak said an initial 2,500 inmates have registered online for the vaccination.
“Just like ordinary citizens, our PDLs also deserved to avail of the vaccines,” said Tumulak.